National

Bill Gates dedicates $158 million to American poverty issues

Seattle ? Bill Gates is starting a new fight against systemic poverty in America, as his private foundation announces millions of dollars toward unspecified initiatives ranging from data projects to funding for community activists.The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said Thursday that it will ...

With girls joining the ranks, Boy Scouts plan a name change

New York ? For 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America's flagship program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the group says that iconic name will change.The organization on Wednesday announced a new name for its Boy Scouts program: Scouts BSA. The change ...

Virginia public university gave Koch a say on faculty in exchange for donations

Fairfax, Va. ? Virginia's largest public university granted the conservative Charles Koch Foundation a say in the hiring and firing of professors in exchange for millions of dollars in donations, according to newly released documents.The release of donor agreements between George Mason ...

America’s air isn’t getting cleaner as fast as it used to

Denver ? For decades, America's air was getting cleaner as levels of a key smog ingredient steadily dropped. That changed about seven years ago when pollution reductions leveled off, a new study found.This means when tighter federal air quality standards go into effect later this year, many ...

CDC chief asks for, and gets, cut to his record $375K pay

New York ? The new head of the top U.S. public health agency has asked for — and will receive — a cut to his record-setting pay, federal officials said Monday.Dr. Robert Redfield Jr.'s new salary was not revealed.The 66-year-old HIV researcher, who was picked in March to head the Centers ...

Restaurants calm customers, say their romaine is safe

Ann Arbor, Mich. ? Restaurants' advice to their customers? Romaine calm.The government is still investigating how romaine lettuce from Yuma, Ariz., apparently became contaminated with E. coli bacteria. As of Friday, at least 98 people in 22 states have gotten sick, according to the U.S. Centers ...

Pennsylvania congressman resigns after sexual harassment charge

Washington ? A Pennsylvania Republican who used taxpayer money to settle a former aide's sexual harassment charges has abruptly resigned from Congress.Congressman Patrick Meehan had already decided not to seek re-election. Meehan resigned Friday, saying he'll repay the government $39,000 he ...

ACLU sues Joplin, Mo., over panhandling ordinance

Joplin, Mo. ? The American Civil Liberties Union is accusing a city in southwest Missouri of having a panhandling ordinance that interferes with free speech.The ACLU of Missouri filed a lawsuit against Joplin Thursday on behalf of Christopher Snyder, a homeless man, the Joplin Globe ...

Senate narrowly confirms Mike Pompeo as secretary of state

WASHINGTON — The Senate narrowly confirmed Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state on Thursday, clearing the path for him to take over as the top U.S. diplomat just as President Donald Trump faces high-risk moments on Iran and North Korea.Pompeo, the outgoing CIA director, secured support from ...

Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

One in three older Americans with Medicare drug coverage is prescribed opioid painkillers, but for those who develop a dangerous addiction there is one treatment Medicare won't cover: methadone.Methadone is the oldest, and experts say, the most effective of the three approved medications used ...

Medicare will require hospitals to post prices online

Washington ? Medicare will require hospitals to post their standard prices online and make electronic medical records more readily available to patients, officials said Tuesday.The program is also starting a comprehensive review of how it will pay for costly new forms of immunotherapy to battle ...

After a death, how much can ‘broken heart’ hurt survivors?

You hear it whenever someone gets sick or dies soon after losing a spouse: Was it because of a broken heart? Stress might not be to blame for former President George H.W. Bush's hospitalization a day after his wife's funeral, but it does the body no favors, and one partner's health clearly ...

CDC chief makes $375K, far exceeding his predecessors’ pay

New York ? The new head of the nation's top public health agency is getting paid nearly twice what his predecessor made and far more than other past directors, government officials confirmed.Dr. Robert Redfield Jr., 66, has long career as a top HIV researcher, but he had no experience working ...

Missouri House moves to legalize medical marijuana

Jefferson City, Mo. ? The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill that would legalize medical marijuana for many patients.The bill, approved Monday in a voice vote, would allow anyone over 18 dying of a terminal disease to access smokeless medical marijuana. People with cancer, ...

Pompeo nomination narrowly clears panel, goes to full Senate

Washington ? Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, avoided a rare rebuke Monday as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly recommended him, but the vote served as a warning shot to the White House as nominees to lead the CIA and Veterans Affairs are ...

Americans told to toss romaine lettuce over E. coli fears

Phoenix ? U.S. health officials on Friday told consumers to throw away any store-bought romaine lettuce they have in their kitchens and warned restaurants not to serve it amid an E. coli outbreak that has sickened more than 50 people in several states.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...

Marijuana-based drug for childhood seizures moves closer to approval in U.S.

Washington ? A medicine made from the marijuana plant moved one step closer to U.S. approval Thursday after federal health advisers endorsed it for the treatment of severe seizures in children with epilepsy.If the Food and Drug Administration follows the group's recommendation, GW ...

New data: Americans filling far fewer opioid prescriptions

Trenton, N.J. ? The number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year, showing their biggest drop in 25 years and continuing a decline amid increasing legal restrictions and public awareness of the dangers of addiction, new data shows.Health data firm ...

Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at 92

HOUSTON — Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.Mrs. Bush brought a grandmotherly style to buttoned-down ...